Time to learn
Whether you are a mature student or fresh out of school, it's important to know that the studying you did leading up to your leaving cert or other exams was not the end of your career in academia.
In fact, you are only getting started.
Getting to grips with university learning and workload can be daunting. You will learn like you've never learned before. It's really exciting. But it can also be a bit overwhelming. But don't worry, you wouldn't be here if you weren't equal to the task. We have the reources and supports to help you start your university journey.
Getting started with learning
Learning at university is a new challenge. It's exciting but it can also be difficult. You'll be doing a lot more independent learning. You'll be getting used to lectures, tutorials, practicals and other types of learning sessions. Plus a lot of this is going to take place online. There's going to be a lot coming your way. But with a bit of preparation, you'll be well able to manage your academic workload.
This is why it's very important for you to attend academic orientation. This is where you'll learn about:
- Your lectures and how they'll be structured and how your lecturers will teach you.
- Your assessments and exams and how you'll take them.
- The different modules (subjects) that you'll take within your degree course (and how to change them if possible).
We'll help you understand what your lecturers and teachers will expect from you as a UCC student. We'll help you understand the rules and the experience of learning at third level.
Academic orientation will also introduce to you:
- Academic peers - people who are studying, or have studied, the course you are about to start will have valuable insight for you to learn from.
- Forums to ask questions directly to the people with the answers in our Live Q&A sessions.
- The Library - the beating heart of academic life in UCC. Even when you're learning remotely, the library will be there to help and support guide your learning.
Academic orientation is essential to getting on the right path for the coming year.
Build fundamental academic skills
Studying, writing, and assignments are fundamental to every course and degree programme in UCC. The leaving cert and other exams will have prepared you to some extent, but students often find the reality of university course work and essays to be more challenging than they expected. There are ways of writing and presenting what you've learned that you will not have encountered before.
And that's where our Skills' Centre comes in. Dedicated to helping students improve their fundamental academic skills, the Skills' centre will be on hand to offer training and support on:
- how to study
- writing essays at university level
- how to plan and manage your college assignments
Make sure to take the Skills' Centre lesson during orientation, visit the Skills' Centre website, and take the other Skills' Centre Canvas module, to set yourself up for academic success.
Tips on thriving in first year
Independent thinking doesn't happen overnight, it is fostered over time and we are here to support you on your learning journey. We've set ourselves some goals to meet in helping you along in your first year of university, and these goals aim to:
- help you establish a connection to the university
- foster your membership of a learning community
- help you acquire knowledge and skills for self-directed learning and academic achievement
- introduce you to diverse ideas, experiences and people
- provide a supportive and caring environment to afford you every chance of success
It sounds straightforward enough, right? Well, there are a few thing you can do to help us bring the very best out of your first year experience too.
Supports to get you through
Everyone has moments where they need help. Here in UCC, we have a number of supports available to our students.
Figuring out your timetable
Your timetable tells you what classes you need to attend on any given week and whether those classes will be on-campus, online or a combination of the two (also known as "blended"). Knowing this information will allow you to make important decisions around accommodation, commuting, part-time work, and even child-care but it takes time for the full picture to become available.
If you need to get a sense of how much time you will be on campus but your full timetable isn't available to you, please make contact with your course director and they will be able to give you information on how they will be delivering each of their modules (subjects) - on-campus, online, or blended - and how many hours a week of class time you will have.
Contacting course directors
- College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
- College of Business and Law
- College of Medicine and Health
- College of Science, Engineering, and Food Science
Creating timetables for students
In order for UCC to create a timetable for you, you must first be registered for your course. It is during registration that you let us know what optional modules you will be taking during the semester or academic year.
For some classes (such as tutorials or other small group teaching sessions*) we can't schedule them until all students on a course have registered. We need to know how many people will be in the class before we can divide them up into smaller groups.
Once we know what optional modules (if any) you've chosen, and what small group teaching sessions you might be enrolled in, we combine them with the compulsory modules you'll be taking and we can get a timetable generated for you. So make sure you've completed registration!
This year, you will be able to access your timetable after you've completed registration part 2, using the Canvas system.
*Small Group Teaching Sessions: Also known as tutorials, practicals, or labs, these sessions allow large classes to be broken into smaller groups so that more interaction between you and your classmates can take place. They are also sessions that allow you to learn practical skills and hands-on elements in computer labs, science labs or other specialised settings that would be impossible to achieve in a large lecture hall.